Contract disputes to be reduced under Legal and General’s new framework

Legal and General’s retirement property arm, Guild Living, has secured the backing of three major contractors for a new framework that aims to prevent traditional areas of conflict between clients and contractors.

Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine and Wates have signed up to the new arrangement, while architect Marchese Partners have been signed up as design partners. 

Guild Living, Epsom scheme

Guild Living’s project in Epsom

Under the Guild Living Alliance Framework, contractors pledge to deliver schemes of a higher quality while minimising delays, and to ensure that work is fair, transparent and “dispute free”.

Guild Living was launched last year and plans to build more than 3,000 homes over the next five years. 

Headed by former Lendlease retirement living managing director Michael Eggington, it is developing schemes aimed at the over-65s and located in urban areas, close to amenities and town centres. Developments are already underway in Bath, Epsom, Uxbridge and Walton-on-Thames. 

Construction consultancy Cast and law firm Eversheds Sutherland have helped to develop the new framework for Guild Living and its main contractors, which aims to set “fixed and appropriate” profit margins from the outset, alongside a commitment to provide a consistent pipeline of work.

One of the core principles is for contractors to be included at an early stage of the design process, and risks that can occur during the development process are assessed and shared equally or allocated to the party best placed to manage them.

The framework aims to avoid the problems of traditional forms of procurement which are often focused on achieving the lowest price for contracts and transferring risks rather than sharing them.

Phil Bayliss, chairman of Guild Living, said: “It’s time to change the way we contract to build. This is about creating the right behaviours, investing in the future, and seeking out efficiencies in the way we build and manage a major project.”

He added: “As long-term investors it is vital that we’re able to embed principles in the way we work with our supply chain partners that help us to achieve the highest standards of delivery.”